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December 20, 2012 / samwilson60

Koudougou, nearly, then back to Ouaga and out the other side

The next stop on our rural Burkina tour was Koudougou, actually a reasonably large town west of the capital. We had been planning to visit the market and stay the night but every route in was blocked by the police from the early hours. We settled for a coffee and cold drink at a café back on the outskirts, from where we saw helicopters suspending the national flag overhead. With the help of a few locals we discovered this was the start of the Burkina Faso independence day celebrations, despite what the multiple guidebooks said, or rather failed to say. Koudougou was hosting the official festivities this year, so the roads were shutdown to anyone without a badge and the hotels were full. With our passports still in the hands of the Nigerians, the only option that remained was back to Ouagadougou and our home from home there. We really enjoyed the warm, familiar welcome we got back at the Pavilion Vert hotel and finished updating everyone there on the last few days’ sightseeing in time for us all to settle down in front of the TV for an afternoon of Man United v Man City.

By the next morning, however, we felt as squiffy as the previous mornings we’d spent at the hotel and whether it was the city, dust, food or water, we knew we wouldn’t be comfortable staying another night. With 24 hours left until our long-awaited rendez-vous at the Nigerian embassy and only one compass point left to explore, we headed south as far as we could justify and found another awesome wild camp.


This time the surprise guests were a trio of inquisitive donkeys – the perfect addition to any night under the stars.

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